Monday, January 9, 2023

NJAM January: Introductions!

Hello hello friends! Welcome back to the first Not Just a Mom of 2023! Today Adrienne, Dara, Jen, Joanne, Sarah and I are doing a little introduction to help you get to know us a bit better. 

Maybe you've been following along with our blogs for years, or maybe you're new. Hopefully you come away from our blogs today having learned something new about each of us!

I will give you a quick rundown about me, and then I have a fun little question for you, that will also help you get to know me better. 

My name is Lauren and I am originally from outside of Cincinnati, Ohio but currently live in Charlotte, NC. I grew up in Milford, Ohio which back in my day had roughly 5,500-6,000 people. 

In my opinion, it was the perfect size town-- small enough to feel that sense of community but big enough to not have everyone in your business. It didn't hurt that we were roughly 30 minutes to the "big city" of Cincinnati where we could enjoy sports games, shows at the theater, etc. 

We moved at the end of my junior year in high school due to my dad's job. As I'm sure you can imagine, there was a liiiiiiiiittle bit of a shock to go from a smaller town to a city of over 2 million people. My old high school had less than 1,000 people in the whole school and my new school in Charlotte had over 1,000 per grade. Whoa. 

Fast forward and I went to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where I ended up meeting one of my best friends, Hannah. Hannah and I lived in the same dorm building and met through other friends. Hannah introduced me to Kathleen (her best friend in high school) and the 3 of us have been thick as thieves ever since. 

I deleted my old Facebook account and most of my pictures with it. This is a pic of us from last fall though on our annual girls trip.

Kathleen went to Elon University, and one weekend while I was visiting her, she introduced me to her super-fun friend, a guy named Devin Darrell. 😊

Fast forward a little more and that super-fun friend ended up becoming my super-fun husband...

 and now we have two super-fun children. 😍 

I am currently a preschool teacher, but I previously taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, and also STEM as a special area class. 

Now for the fun question... my new favorite question to ask friends/family has been:

 "What would your college self be most surprised to hear about your life now?"

I always love to hear everyone's responses. I'd love to hear your answer in the comments below!

My college self would be absolutely shocked to learn that:

 - I've run two full marathons and several half marathons. Ya'll, I was the girl who HATED running. Remember in high school PE class where you had to run a mile as your final (was that just my school?)? You would've thought I was dying. 😆 Fast forward several years and now I run... for fun?? My college self would sooner die. 

- I wake up at 4:30 am every day by choice, not because I have to. Again, I was your typical college kid who stayed up a little too late having a little too much fun. This wasn't exactly conducive to early morning wake-ups. 

If you are a blogger who wrote along with today's theme, please link up below! See you back here on Friday!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. So fun! I currently live about 30 mins outside of Cincy (about 10 mins from Kings Island) and we also love the country living while being so close to the big city! I am also an early childhood educator, which is never a dull life!! I think that my college self would be surprised to find me living in the United States with a small hobby farm! Hahaha, that was not really on my radar at 19!

  2. Great question. I think my college self would be surprised that I get up pretty early too - not that early but definitely earlier than I ever did then!

  3. I loved learning more about you! My college self would be surprised that I am living in Houston. I don't think anyone thinks they will stay in Houston when they move here, but here I am ...30+ years later. ;)

  4. Ok you in that soccer outfit is LG!!! How crazy - she looks identical to you!

  5. What fun learning about you; that must have been some culture shock switching schools like that just for senior year. I came from a small school and even picked a pretty small college because of it. I'm not sure my college self would be all that surprised by anything; I already had plans to marry my husband and hoped to either work with kids or be a stay at home mom (and I was always a pretty early riser).

  6. Oooo! That’s a fun question! I think my college self would be shocked that I live where I do. When I graduated, I only had one goal - move south and closer to the ocean! Well, I guess I did it, but I am about 15 minutes south and about 10 minutes closer to the ocean than the town I grew up in. Ha! I still live in the same county and run with some of the same friends. Thanks for hosting! ~ Sarah @ Sunshine & Books

  7. Nice to meet you, I'm new to the linky and your blog. What fantastic photos. I think my college self would be surprised that I live in the countryside after being a bit of a city girl.

  8. What a great question! I can’t think of anything right off the top of my head. Love hearing more about how you grew up. Sarah @TorontoSAM

  9. Such a fun intro. I didn't realize you moved towards the end of high school. That must have been hard. We moved when I was in 7th grade, and that was a difficult adjustment for me. I don't think college me would be surprised by much. I haven't changed too much. My college self might be surprised that I love early mornings...but I always preferred to get my classes over with in college. I love your photos through the years.

  10. I'm new to the link-up and am having a great time meeting everyone today. How fun that you've remained close to your college friends through the years! I also married my college boyfriend, but I think my college self would be most surprised that we're living in the United States - but NOT in Florida, which has been my husband's goal.

  11. My college self would be shocked I have three kids!

  12. This was such a fun read! I really liked getting to hear more about everyone through this link up. My university (as we say here in Canada) self would be shocked to know that I married someone who is not only Jewish but is ten years younger than me.